Knowing When To Hold On

Knowing When To Hold On December 30, 2023
IMAGE: Pexels
Should I hold on or let go?
When do I hold on?
Who/what tells me It’s time to let go?
Holding on to dreams.
Holding on to memories.
Holding on to keepsakes.
Mom’s clothes in a cedar closet in the basement.
Mom’s container of old letters and cards.
I don’t even know half the people those cards are from.
Here’s a story of wanting to let go…
Kevin and I were coming up on our fifteen year class reunion.
Going through both of our memory boxes.
Let’s be fair/truthful.
Kev has one.
I have two.
So we will say all three of our memory boxes.
We have all kinds of memories of past boyfriends/girlfriends.
Dating all the way back to middle school.
Notes that are still folded up with the little flap.
Do you like me?
Check the box.
I’m not kidding…
I had one like that.
And it was signed “secret admirer.”
I know, right?
How in the world am I supposed to know how to check the box?
Who in the world are you?
I found out.
It was Robby.
And I did like him.
For about a minute.
Kevin and I had all kinds of photos of the people we dated.
Proms and homecomings.
The big hair and big dresses.
It was fun looking through them.
But… a friend from our church challenged us to get rid of it all.
Anything that wasn’t “us.”
Convincing us that anything outside of our relationship was wrong.
So… we put all of those pictures and notes in a separate shoe box.
We were going to have a bonfire with our friend and burn it all.
In this same season, we were moving from Defiance to Fort Wayne. Our house sold before we found one to buy.
So we moved in with my parents.
The little brick house on Schultz Street.
Family of six moving on in with Mom and Dad.
They took us in for a few months.
Our kids were in Heaven.
Grape pop and cards with Grandpa every night.
And we brought the little shoe box along with us.
Mom happened to see it in the basement one day.
Asked what we were doing with it.
I told her the story.
She was so mad.
“You don’t burn pictures.”
“This is ridiculous.”
And of course, I rolled my eyes at her.
What did she know anyway?
Life got busy.
And we forgot about burning the box.
Fast forward to 2010.
Seven years later.
We were moving Mom and Dad out of their house.
Guess what I found!
That little shoe box.
Mom had hid it from me.
She put it under some stuff out in their garage.
My mouth dropped open when someone handed it to me.
“Where was this?”
Mom confessed…
“I’ve been hiding it from you all these years.”
I know, right?
Let me just say…
I am so glad she did.
The memories from the shoe box went back into our big memory boxes.
We are older now.
And those pictures bring back so many fun memories.
It’s so good to be able to show our grandkids what we wore to our proms.
Tell the stories of our lives in high school and grade school.
Remembering the good times and the bad.
Mom was so wise.
But wise.
She knew something about being able to hold on to memories.
And letting go of the need to “wipe out our pasts.”
Thanks Momma.
Lesson learned.
About Karen Ruth Shock
Karen R Shock resides in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband and their youngest son. She had three more children who are married and five beautiful grandchildren. Oh, and a dog name JT Barrett (Go Bucks). She is the author of the book Too Much and Not Enough and is a retired homeschool mom and is now a high school teacher and cheer coach. Life is hard, but fun. Learning to lean into the mess, find rest in today, and maybe even make some new friends along the way. You can read more about the author here.
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